Monday, September 29, 2008

Being a Mets Lifer

I've heard more people remark today than ever before how glad they are that they aren't a Mets fan. Now today is not the optimal day to be one, and the scars from the past two seasons will not quickly heal. But aren't there worse things to be?

You could be a Pirates fan, a Rangers fan, a Royals fan, an Orioles fan, a Nationals fan (if there is such a thing) or a Mariners fan and have no hope of contending in the next decade.

You could be a Braves fan, an A's fan, a Giants fan, or a Padres fan and see that your team was once a power and is now in a rebuilding cycle that could take several seasons.

You could be a Cubs fan and not have won anything in the last century. You could be a Phillies fan and be a fan of the most losingest franchise in all of sports. You could be a Yankees fan and finally realize that money can't solve all your problems. You could be a Cardinals fan and realize that having the best player in baseball doesn't guarantee you a spot in the playoffs every year.

You could be an Astros fan and realize that Miguel Tejada isn't the player he used to be. You could be a Blue Jays fan and realize no matter how hard you try Halladay can't pitch every day.

Each team's fan base has its pros and cons. It just seems that the Mets fan base has had more to suffer through and in more dramatic fashion that any other team of late. And that might be true, but if you're a Mets Lifer this is nothing new.

Highs and lows are our specialty. We've had the high of 1986 only to be followed by the demise of Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry in the years to follow. We had the hope of Generation K followed by the reality that they just weren't that good. We signed big name players like Frank Viola, Brett Saberhagen, Roberto Alomar, Bobby Bonilla, Mo Vaugh, Jeromy Burnitz, and the list goes on, only to see that they were not the players they once were.

We had an MVP season from Kevin McReynolds only to find out that he could really care less. We traded Lenny Dysktra for Juan Samuel only to have Dykstra become the NL MVP.

The list continues, but we remained faithful. Isn't that what a Mets Lifer is all about?

I bet you can name at least 5 people that started calling themselves "Yankee fans" around 1996. I can think of at least ten. And I bet you know at least 2 or 3 people who have become Red Sox fans starting around 2004. Now how many Mets fans do you know that are fair weather fans? That's right, you don't know any. Why? Because to be a Mets Lifer, you're in this for the long haul. A losing season, an utter and total collapse followed by another collapse isn't enough to sway your loyalty. You're invested in this team through thick and thin.

Sure we'll take our lumps this week and for the next few weeks. The word "collapse" will be used again and again as we approach the new season, but in a few months something is going to happen. You're going to be back. You'll be looking at tickets to Citi Field. You'll be playing general manager. You'll start adjusting the lineup card. You'll start yelling at Mike Francesa when he talks about trading Jose Reyes.

It's a vicious cycle folks. I speak from experience. It's what a Mets Lifer does. It's a badge of honor some days, it's a burden on other days. But it's what we are so come to grips with it.


bryan said...

i'm starting to feel a little better after readnig this...great post.

metgirl4ever said...

Great post! I’ve been a fan from afar for 10 yrs & have followed the team in great times & bad. One of my early favorite Mets’ moments was Ventura’s grand slam single. Every year I order my Mets merchandise & have it shipped here to TN. Apparently there is some rule that you have to be a Braves fan or a Cardinals fan in the south. Well, I call bullsh*t. The Mets made me fall in love with baseball. How can I be anything other than a Mets fan?

dave said...

I feel your pain metsgirl. I went to college in South Carolina and there were Braves fans galore!

Glad to see you're holding true to the orange and blue.

Staci said...

I'm a born and raised Houston Astros fan...and a psychotic, broken hearted NY Mets fan today...the unintended consequence of my best friend taking me to see Roy Oswalt pitch against John Maine (his first start)...was that I fell in love with the METS in August 2006...after resisting for years. Hook, line and sinker...I would have hemorraged orange and blue by the time the 06 run was over... But, this year, when the astros were making their run before Ike, I was terrified that the Astros and Mets would meet in the postseason- what would I do? they only finished 3 games apart, so as an Astros fan, I don't think we wanted Tejada to do anything more...certainly, winning 10 in a row after Carlos Lee (who probably would have certainly finished in the top 5 in most batting categories)went down proves injuries didn't kill the Astros. They did, however, kill our beloved Mets. I almost forgot about Fernando Tatis untiL I walked in to my office yesterday and the back of the Daily news I had hanging up that said "Tatis- Amazing" was starring back at me. I'm so hopeful- my biggest disappointment was not getting to shea to get a daniel murphy shirt with the Shea logo on it...I love the young 'uns...and though I'm surrounded by RedSox Nation and my company's home office is in Chicago (so, I am surrounded by cubbies love too)...I wouldn't trade all the drama, etc for anything. IT's easy to be a fan of those teams...but you have to have heart to love these METS...our lovable losers!

The Ranting Auntie said...

My first experience with baseball in this country was watching the Mets during the 1984 season. From then on I have been a die hard Mets fan. I BLEED orange and blue (well not really but you understand). I remember watching the '86 series and calling my dad at work to give him highlights of the games (we did that with football as well...)My first experience at Shea did not come until 2 years ago when my dad and I sat in the rain through a 3 hour rain delay to then watch Pedro and the Mets take down the hated Phillies. Last year I had the chance to sit 10 rows behind 3rd base and watch one of the last games before the meltdown(thanks metgirl) and seriously had a doofy grin on my face for like a week... win, lose, or draw, I will ALWAYS love my Mets...